32bit and/or 64bit Vista Ultimate

I am considering purchasing a used Dell Lap Top which has the Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit Operating System installed.
I am not a technical wizard but understand a little of the pro's and con's of 32bit and 64bit versions.
However if I decide that the 64bit version is not for me (I believe that some of my older 32bit software might not work on a 64bit system) can I just reformat the hard drive and install a 32 bit version of Vista or a 32bit version of XP Pro

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up to you

by SystemCheck In reply to 32bit and/or 64bit Vista ...

im running 64 bit no problems with the older programs, 32 bit rec 4gb and 64 bit rec 8 gb of ram its all about you

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Should work

by cpubymike In reply to 32bit and/or 64bit Vista ...

32 bit software runs perfectly fine on a 64 bit system,

Only differences are that 64 bit supports more ram according to MS its a licensing issue or something or a hardware issue but server 08 bin compatible with vista but doesn't have any ram caps.

MS aside the difference between 32/64 is in a 64 bit system you need a 64 bit capable processor generally this isn't an issue nowadays, but there is hardly if any true 64 bit software available to the consumer. But when booting a 64 bit os you need to boot a whole other HAl along with your base os to run your 64bit apps.

Generally I try and run 32 bit when ever I can because the performance gain of not having services run side by side that I don't, or can't even utilize pays out.

I have noticed that with certain .deb packages that are compiled for i386 will not run on a system that has a 64 bit Debian based operating system installed namely flash plug-ins and IBM lotus symphony.

Generally with Windows this isn't the case though if you have a 32 bit package it runs from your c:\program files\x86

your 64 bit packages get installed to c:\program files\x64

hope this helps If your computer comes with x64 os just leave it be if you're not shure and don't rock the boat

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Many Thanks

by JUDITON In reply to Should work

Thank you very much cpubymike.
You have been really helpful and your reply has been simplistic and understandable.
I shall approach the decision with much more confidence now.
Kind regards

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Not a problem

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to 32bit and/or 64bit Vista ...

Provided you first have the 32 Bit Drivers. So if you wish to revert back tot he 32 Bit Platform I would make sure that the Driver Disc Supplied by Dell has both the 32 & 64 Bit Drivers. Or if it doesn't download them from the Dell Web Site and save them where you can use them easily on a Thumb Drive or something similar.

OH you'll also need a 32 Bit Licensed Copy of Vista as well, as these are a different product to the 64 Bit and they are not interchangeable. So your Product Key for the 64 Bit Version can not be used to install a 32 Bit Version.

The other thing you'll need to consider is if the computer has more than 4 GIG of System RAM installed it's not going to be all used. There is no 32 Bit Version of any OS that can address more than about 3.25 Gig's of System and Video RAM.


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Thank you

by JUDITON In reply to Not a problem

Many thanks for the information.
I was aware of the 4GB RAM issue but must admit hadn't thought about the different drivers.
If I purchase the used Dell Lap Top I now believe it does come with both 32bit and 64 bit drivers.
Kind regards and thanks for the response,

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Your Welcome EOM

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Thank you

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